Brazil said it will work closely with the company that successfully launched an ultra-high-speed Internet-delivery satellite in December to install routers and support the reception of 4G signals at the country’s 5,000 biggest airfields in order to maintain its technological lead.
Brazil’s announcement, announced by President Michel Temer and José María Alemán, president of the country’s national carrier, Eletrobras, at the launch of the Brazilian Air Force’s Satelite 4 Air Network in Sao Paulo, emphasized that the country will work with both SpaceX and France’s Eutelsat in the project that Temer announced will be completed in 2020.
Backed by Brazil’s Communications Ministry, the plan is designed to provide high-speed internet connectivity to 10 million people living near airfields and freight hubs across the country. The satellites will be an extension of the Eletrobras satellite system — in use since 1988 — but SpaceX will provide the new satellite platform, and Eutelsat will operate the network for distribution to the public. While Brazil and the European Community have contributed funds to the project, the country will pay a 5-percent tax on Eutelsat.
“SpaceX is part of the Brazilian Space Program,” Alemán told a joint press conference that also included Temer. “It is the best technological partner in providing space resources in the country.”
It remains to be seen how widely the Brazilian Air Force’s system will be used: Rio de Janeiro, the world’s biggest city, does not have an airfield.
Read the full story at Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
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